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Old 7th October 2019, 17:05   #1
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Default Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

I am creating this thread to focus mainly on all things dirt... but on 2 wheels

The purpose of this thread is to share off road tips, dirty details of your explorations (OK, I'll stop the dirt puns here), motorcycle set up, modifications (in our ADV / dirt / Dual Sport starved market, its pretty much a must), Adaventure travel, Bike talk, maintenance etc etc

Pretty sure you get the gist.

I hope the members will flood this thread with an absolute ton of pictures and / or vids of yourself and your ride getting dirty

As John Muir rightly said -

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt

Here's a video of a ride with some friends from last week. Do check it out:



Ride safe!

PS - Mountain Bikers are more than welcome to post. Remember... its ALL things dirt on 2 wheels

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Old 7th October 2019, 19:23   #2
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

Great to see a post on this.

I've not done an aweful lot of off-road riding, just a fair share. Here are my 2 cents from the experience I've had, mostly on media rides:

First and formost, something that's often overlooked the most with motorcycles is suspension. As most that are now available in the affordable market come with at least preload adjustment, it needs to be corrected for the rider+luggage. The suspension's primary job is to make sure the rubber stays in contact with the surface at all times. Get a friend to help you out, make sure your sag is set to as close to 30% as possible.

The rubber your motorcycle is shod with is crucial. Tyres in good condition, with good tread depth and without cuts and cracks are something you want to go with. Not all tyres are created equal, and should be as per your riding preferences. If you ride majorly on our radically varying road surfaces, go for something with a road bias. My personal preference is the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR - they aren't too expensive, and perform equally well in dirt, slush, gravel and really shine on the road. It's easy to get a good deal in Delhi. I've bought mine from Surya Traders in the past and had a decent experience.

Tyre pressures are important. Fill them to what your manufacturer recommends and DO NOT deflate them when riding on a challenging surface. Tyres are manufactured to work best with the right pressures, irrespective of the surface. 2-3 psi under won't hurt, but don't go down to 15psi thinking you'll get better traction.

While riding on rough terrain, get comfortable with the idea of standing on your footpegs instead of sitting with your bum on the seat. It gives you leverage, improves visibility of what's next under your front, and most importantly, improves mobility. Without more weight attached to the motorcycle, it's free to move around under you and can overcome rocky terrain far more easily. It's also important to keep your momentum. While you can stop, look and go, it's not very efficient and makes your tyres hunt for extra traction to get that weight moving.

Travel as light as possible when going on long trips. You don't need those 10 t-shirts and 4 trousers for 20 days. Some might find it amusing, but often seen are people with a small stove and utensils on their way to Ladakh! "Dude, whaaaa..."
If it doesn't fit in a backpack and a tankbag/tailbag, get rid of it. More weight means lowered agility, lowered fuel economy, increased tyre wear, more chances of sharp rocks/gravel puncturing your tyre with all that weight, and higher fatigue trying to keep that COG in line.

Please feel free to correct me, or add on to this, I know some of you are far more experienced than I might be.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 7th October 2019 at 19:33. Reason: line spacing
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Old 8th October 2019, 17:05   #3
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

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Originally Posted by mako17 View Post
Great to see a post on this.

Here are my 2 cents from the experience I've had, mostly on media rides:

First and formost, something that's often overlooked the most with motorcycles is suspension

The rubber your motorcycle is shod with is crucial

Tyre pressures are important

While riding on rough terrain, get comfortable with the idea of standing on your footpegs

Travel as light as possible
Agree 100% with everything you have mentioned

Suspension is absolutely the most overlooked, yet IMO the most important component especially when it comes to riding off road. I have ridden an impulse with CRF forks and a custom rear shock. The difference in stability and handling is astounding. I myself was never happy with the suspension on the Impulse. Too soft for my liking. Put a one inch spacer in the forks and what a difference!! That awful dive upon braking is nearly gone, it tracks a whole lot better off road as well. This few 100 rupee mod is more dear to me than the thousands I have spent modifying the engine for more power

Every single point you make deserves a separate post. Would love to hear more if you would like to share, else will definitely try and post more

Only addition to the above, and often overlooked is gear... especially boots. MX boots have saved my feet multiple times from permanent damage. If not for them; my ankle and feet would be a mangled mess. Will post more details on this soon

Ride safe!
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Old 8th October 2019, 18:37   #4
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
I am creating
Ride safe!

PS - Mountain Bikers are more than welcome to post. Remember... its ALL things dirt on 2 wheels

Excellent vids Urban nomad. I went through your whole channel. You guys sure have some great trails around. Could you tell me where this is?(or p.m me if you'd like to keep it discreet

Just my 2 cents ; I noticed you guys are not weighting the pegs before clearing an obstacle. which is why there is a lot of wheelspin as the rear tyre is not hooking up. Try compressing the front and then weight the rear while dumping the clutch and give it a wrist full (no worries in a low powered bike like impulse) this will help the front tyre overcome the obstacle or atleast help you get a kicker and weighting the pegs will help the rear tyre squish into the ground so it hooks up with minimal wheelspin. Oh and remember once the front comes up you have to shift body position forward so you dont tip over.

Have fun and keep posting more dirty vids .

Heres one of me at slideways motoranch in bangalore sometime last year end (ignore the date on the camera its wrong)

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Old 8th October 2019, 20:14   #5
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

Off Road Riding with a Pillion - DON'T!

So a while ago during an interstate ride I managed to burn my clutch plates clean off, courtesy of climbing an uphill trail with a pillion, not one of my brightest of moves but nonetheless it was fun.

Here's the video of the trail in question, you can spot me duck waddling my Panda 220 nearing the end after my clutch started to slip real bad, somewhere in between you can also spot fellow TBhpian Neil Jerico and 'Captain' his Yellow 535 GT being pushed out of an undulation.



I was able to ride the remaining 600+ km's home though overtaking or climbing uphill were not options I had the luxury of choosing.

Here's a picture of my clutch hub, you can see some burn marks;

Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice-img20191002wa0017.jpeg

With all the heat being generated my Thrust Washer had also managed to get a little too acquainted with the input shaft as seen blow;



Sorry for the smudgy photo and video, my hands were covered in oil and I managed to get some on my phone as well. Didn't bother with draining the oil before pulling the clutch cover off.

Lesson to be learnt in quite obvious, if you can't go forth without slipping the clutch then its better to ask your pillion to dismount rather than risk burning the clutch.

Plus the trail ended soon after my clutch started slipping else I would've had a really bad time getting the motorcycle out.

Tips:

1. Make sure to set enough clutch cable slack before going off-road, under maximum load if there isn't adequate clearance then the clutch would start to slip on its own before eventually burning out.

2. Once in a while do monitor your free-play, I have made this a habit to inspect this while on the go using my index finger and middle finger to finger the lever.




The moment you notice a change in free play i.e the cable has developed tension without being under maximum load, you should realize that your countdown has begun.

3. If in case the clutch starts to slip pretty bad on its own, stop immediately and loosen the clutch cable to ensure that there's more than adequate slack before resuming to ride, from here on slip clutch judiciously, also make sure to not whack open the throttle as if the friction plates are out of spec then it'd cause the clutch to slip even more.

Ride Safe,
A.P.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 8th October 2019 at 20:29.
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Old 9th October 2019, 07:42   #6
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

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Originally Posted by nitro.1000bhp View Post
Excellent vids Urban nomad. I went through your whole channel.
Thank you! Glad you liked them

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Originally Posted by nitro.1000bhp View Post
You guys sure have some great trails around. Could you tell me where this is?(or p.m me if you'd like to keep it discreet
This is a trail on the Gurgaon/ Faridabad road (Delhi NCR) near the toll. Itís actually quite popular and we do see some other bikes every now and again. No one as regular as our group though

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Just my 2 cents
Thanks a ton for the tips

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Originally Posted by nitro.1000bhp View Post
Heres one of me at slideways motoranch
Is this the entire track or are there other sections? This just looks like flat corners with a couple or so berm turns. No jumps, rhythm etc sections?
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Old 9th October 2019, 13:44   #7
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Default re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

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Every single point you make deserves a separate post. Would love to hear more if you would like to share, else will definitely try and post more
These are things that anyone who really understands how motorcycles function will intuitevely know. However, they're definitely very vast topics to really be just brushed upon in a single post.

I agree with you, gear is super important. Also is general motorcycle maintenence. Investing in good oils, making sure your clutch has enough freeplay (like mentioned in above posts!), getting good brake lines and even if you don't go mental like getting Spielger brake lines and CL Brakes, a simple and cheap upgrade would be a higher spec fluid. I run DOT 5.1, and it's made a massive difference for me with a little spirited riding in the Western Ghats.

Liqui Moly makes the only generally available 10W60, which I've found is a fantastic oil. My motorcycle ran like a charm when I was riding from Bombay to the mountains and back home.

Since you spoke of working on the performance of yours, I have been a little mischievous with mine too. I've removed the airbox and plugged in a free flow, removed a few things from the exhaust and turned it freely flowing, upsized my injector, and replaced my spark plug to a colder rated Iridium one. The way the torque kicks in is amazing and messing around on trails is really good fun. Another route to go is short gearing your motorcycle. You have ample torque to climb up trails. It also multiplies your engine braking, so you can reserve the rear brakes for some harder braking.
LMK what you think you're planning on doing with yours.
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Old 9th October 2019, 13:58   #8
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Default Re: Off road riding

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Thank you! Glad you liked them

Is this the entire track or are there other sections? This just looks like flat corners with a couple or so berm turns. No jumps, rhythm etc sections?
Hi Urban,

Yes that is the entire track layout.Although variations can be made like an oval or counter-clockwise oval but thats pretty much it. This isnt a motocross track but a flat track with both left and right turns. As the name 'Slideways' suggests this place is designed so we can learn how to control a slide and the kawasaki klx 140s are specifically adapted to this. out goes the knobbies and in comes some A/T tyres and that makes it even more difficult to stop or turn but thats where the fun lies. They had even deleted the front brakes in true flat track style but they had to put it back on as some people started to panic.

This is more on the lines of 'Rossi's Ranch" albeit much smaller with considerably less powerful bikes so noobs like me dont get intimidated. Mostly pro circuit riders come here to hone their skills. The most important thing we learn is how to induce a slide and hold it sideways till the track straightens up. ofcourse other things like correct body positioning and how to use rear brakes and engine braking in conjunction to get the bike stopped, clutch and throttle control etc. I'd highly recommend this place. They have all the requisite gear and marshals, just land up there and start riding.

Here's a link to Rossi's Ranch video:
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Old 9th October 2019, 16:25   #9
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Originally Posted by nitro.1000bhp View Post
This is more on the lines of 'Rossi's Ranch" albeit much smaller with considerably less powerful bikes
Gotcha!

Flat tracks are super fun. We too have a track in the same region as our trails with a (sort of) oval. But a variety of different features on a track would keep one entertained and add more to the "bag of skills". Looks like you had a good time though

Question to everyone - Anyone ever think of competing in an organized event? Rallies basically

Some of the folks I ride with are SJOBA (podium) and Raid De Himalaya (Top 5) finishers and while they are definitely faster than I am; I can hang around them on our trails without feeling like I am about to die. I think I will get my feet wet next year with SJOBA

Lets see if this materializes


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Originally Posted by mako17 View Post
I agree with you, gear is super important. Also is general motorcycle maintenence. Investing in good oils, making sure your clutch has enough freeplay ...
Another excellent point!

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Originally Posted by mako17 View Post
LMK what you think you're planning on doing with yours.
I am done with mods on my Duke and Impulse both. Have spent a lot of cash. Saving up for an MX / Enduro bike I recently rode for 5 mins (a Chinese 450)

List of mods on the impulse:

Performance mods:

- Big bore (180 cc IIRC)
- High lift cam
- Carb from Apache 200
- Free flow
- Duke 200 air filter

Ergo mods:

- Wider and taller handlebar with lesser sweep than stock (due for a change)
- Slightly reshaped seat
- Moved footpegs back a couple or so inches and maybe an inch higher to suit my riding style. The welding is solid (Argon). Brake and gear levers had to be shortened and re-welded too. To me, this is THE BEST mod on my bike

Also, Nitro here has a pretty kickass Impulse that he is done up very tastefully (ZMA Engine swap IIRC). Heck, the fork brace on his bike itself costs about as much as my full exhaust

Last edited by ampere : 11th October 2019 at 09:37. Reason: back to back posts merged
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Old 9th October 2019, 23:58   #10
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Default Re: Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice

Recently started mountain biking (bicycling) in the South Bay, California. Here are tips I got from friends:
1. Low pressure in your tires I do about 20-25 PSI to get max traction. Riding on road is done at 50-55 PSI. (Need to get a separate road bike :P)
2. Lowest gears when climbing.
3. While climbing, the seat should be highest possible point (for your height) to minimize effort. Seat should be low while coming down. There are hydraulic seat drops available.
4. Use your brakes to gradually slow rather than jamming them. Hydraulic brakes are much better to prevent wheel lock up.
5. Your backside always on the seat while climbing or descending. Rarely do you get up unless you there's an unexpected obstacle.
5a. While going up, your crotch at the foremost part of the seat as much as possible
5b. While coming down, your crotch in the rearmost part of the seat as possible
6. Enjoy the ride. Take it slowly. It is hard on your body as you don't have the assistance of an engine or a motor. The challenges of motorsport in the dirt are different.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 10th October 2019 at 00:01.
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